AFTER the festival feasts enjoyed by racegoers at Leopardstown and Limerick last week, punters have to settle for more humble fare at Thurles today.
The highlight is the Phil Sweeney Memorial Chase in which Willie Mullins aims to land the spoils for the second year running. Last year, the champion trainer sent out Quel Esprit to take the Grade Three prize and this time he relies on Call The Police.
The 10-year-old is the pick on official ratings and the fact that he finished a respectable second to Hidden Cyclone at Gowran Park in November is further cause for optimism.
Ruby Walsh's mount has most to fear from Foildubh, which was only a length and a half off Hidden Cyclone three runs back. However, John Ryan's gelding has to give 7lbs to his market rival and that can give the Mullins charge the edge.
The Closutton handler has decent prospects of doubling up when Cadspeed lines up in the Devil's Bit Beginners Chase. Cadspeed hasn't run since falling at Clonmel last month and provided his confidence hasn't been dented, the 10-year-old can prove too strong for Galianna and Knocklong.
Mullins can complete a treble with the help of son Patrick in the bumper with Briar Hill. Graham Wylie snapped up the five-year-old after a point-to-point success at Necarne and it will be a big let-down if he doesn't oblige.
While War Correspondent isn't going to hit the heights of half-brother War Of Attrition, he can still land the staying hurdle here for Mouse Morris.
Surprise Limerick winner Dazzlers Day is the likely favourite in the Horse & Jockey Handicap Hurdle, but preference is given to Jacks Island.